Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good Heavens! Another one?


Yes, another hat, begun as a class at JoAnn's, and finally finished today.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Slippers!


Yes, finally finished, and are they ever cute!

Happy New Year's Eve

And another project done!

I got a baby dolly for my grand daughter for Christmas, and then found this CUTE AS A BUTTON baby bunting in an OLD Workbasket magazine given to me in a gift from my husband's aunt!

What a find! And so untimely! Sheesh!

So I'm a little late with finishing part of her Christmas present, but she never knew the difference, and was very happy with the baby ANYWAY, but now I have another gift for the baby to stay warm when she takes her on trips and such. I just think it's so cute!

So I'll be giving my little grand daughter the bunting, perhaps New Year's Day, since we spend New Year's Day with my mother-in-law, and she lives only 5 miles from my step-daughter, we could easily drop off the bunting then.

So I'm a tad excited about this.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Christmas That Came and Went...







My sister in law and two of the anxious children. You can almost hear the champing at the bit, eh?
















My hubby and his mum. She wore this BEAUTIFUL red dress Christmas Day when we had our dinner party, and she was SO LOVELY in it. She got so many compliments that she spent most of the day blushing!












These are the quadruplets. From the left, back row, my sister in law and her daughter, then my step daughter, and my granddaughter in the front row.

There was a time when you couldn't tell hubby's sister from his daughter, or was that the other way around?

Anyway, they all have these brown eyes and brown hair, and lovely dark complexions. They are, all four of them, beautiful! And there's just no way to tell that they are all related--right?



My neice and nephew and the grand kids (younger ones), acting silly for the camera.









And a pair of socks to show for it too!


All in all, a productive week!

I've Been So Quiet!

It's not because I'm ignoring you. I really have been busy. The boss at JoAnn's has been keeping me in stitches! A new knitting/crochet season is coming, and I have to prep for that--making swatches for the project board and getting things together for that, plus classes for the last of December--whew!

Presently working on TWO pair of socks. Just standard knit abouts--a pair in grey and a pair in self-striping--one in bamboo/wool and the other in wool/nylon--both in Paton's Kroy. The grey pair has a totally different gauge than the self-striping, and I love the feel of the bamboo. I have a hint that I'll be making more of these, but in different colors.

And it's great because all yarn is on sale at JoAnn's, and I got a big gift certificate to shop there for Christmas from Secret Santa. It was a nice surprise, and I've already spent $2 of it for one of my projects for a crochet class.

It's been snowing pretty steadily, but not much accumulation--it seems to all blow away the second we get it. Right now, there's a couple inches on the ground, which only serves to make things messy on the main roads and freeways, while the back roads get slick. It's a good thing that we only have a little way to go to get to the main road!

Sadly, I must go. Can't stay this morning. I have a class to finish up the socks from last week, teaching how to turn a heel and kitchner a toe, and then I can come home and rest for a while. I think that my next class isn't until January 18, unless someone signs up for something in the next couple days. In the meanwhile, I hope the end of your year is filled with warm, hand-knit socks!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

And a Happy Day with Freezing Rain--all over the roads--and lots of regular rain, just to make things more interesting.

And with all the holiday travellers out there. Please WATCH OUT FOR THE OTHER GUY! You might know what YOU'RE doing--but does he?

I opened a gift today from one of my husband's Aunts--actually she's his favorite Aunt, and he's her favorite nephew, but I digress. I had thought it would be for my hubby, but it was for ME! YAY!

A project bag, with a BUNCH of old style knitting needles that I just love, and some magazines with old-style knitting and crochet articles that were a treat to look through. Some embroidery hoops and sun-catcher hoops that I can hardly WAIT to fill with small doilies and feathers from JoAnn's. The bag was literally filled with eligible projects.

To top it all off, the "Learn to Knit" book that I've been hunting for was ALSO inside, and it has the slipper pattern in there that I was hunting for, as well. Hmmm...how did she know? The whole bag was a surprise, and while the entire family knows that I knit (a lot) and crochet (some of that too, yes), I NEVER expected to get that sort of thing--especially when it's Jeff's Aunt--

I made Jeff a Pecan Pie-his favorite. He's had a couple slices of it. I think he likes it, but it's not that Chicago pie. I have to find the recipe for it somehow and make it. While this pie is "good", that pie was the best he'd ever had. So I have to search for it. I created six coupons for him to redeem throughout the year, so that he can have pecan pie whenever he wants it. Home-made, by hand, pecan pie. None better.

I have received some compensation from JoAnn's for my teaching classes there--enough to buy the table/storage area for the new television. It's on sale right now at Meijer's--well, actually, tomorrow it should still be on sale--so we should be able to get it then.

Today, is our dinner at hubby's mother's house. The whole family should be there--except for his brother, who couldn't make it this year. Let me tell you what. That's a real let down for his brother--he lives so far away, and would FAR RATHER spend Christmas with his mother this year, but sadly, his wife will not fly. This is apparently a sticking point that upsets everyone here in Michigan. We miss him, and I'm sure that he misses us, too. Merry Christmas, Mike and Pam. Sorry you can't be here.

I'll be taking my camera and taking highlights of the dinner (today) and the presents (tomorrow, my birthday), so remind me to pack my camera. I can't wait for the kids to open their presents--it's going to be so much fun this year, because there are 4 children--a niece and nephew and my two grandkids, who are younger, and still believe in Santa Claus. It's going to be a fun time!

Of course, last night, hubby was depressed about something, and when I pressed for an answer as to why, he wouldn't tell me. Now, he might not have known what specifically was troubling him, so I drew a tarot card--the 4 of swords reversed.

In the Robin Wood Tarot, the graphic is of a person in effigy, the swords are not active, and upright, the card means you need to rest, relax, take a powder kind of meaning. Reversed, it means you have to get up, get going, get active, move yer butt! So what's he doing now?

Snoring.

I think his depression is boredom mixed with the fact that this is he first Christmas since his dad died. Come to think of it, there was snow on the ground then, too. Christmas is not a good time for my husband. Which is terrible, because it's such a GREAT TIME for *ME*! All the food, and the presents and the friends and family! It's great! I look forward to it every year. The more, the merrier! I wish my family was as close as his family is. And while we will all miss his dad, there is still joy in the giving (and getting) of gifts! YAY! Just so you know, his dad will be there--and while he might not be able to partake of the pie and cake, ham and legumes (notice I put dessert first?), he will be there for our comfort.

Knitting wise, I have finished a sock, and found a fantastic fit in this yarn, and a fantastic sock pattern to make with it, and the result is a PERFECT SOCK that fits me, without a lot of fiddly calculations. I can't believe it, and I'm so excited that I have a standard sock pattern now, that I can barely stand it. I'm working on the second sock now, and should have it done by the time the next class happens. Of course, the person taking the sock class will need to come to another session, because the boss scheduled two sessions in two days, which isn't enough time to knit--so I'm going to make an offer to the student.

And the classes for January/February are shaping up--knitted lace, crocheted lace, some felted flowers and a pretty child's cardi--which I'm going to turn into a baby sweater. Then, of course, there will be other classes to follow. I just hope that the weather clears up and isn't so snotty like today. Sadly, I hear we're supposed to have freezing rain again tonight.

Mandy, my dog, got a new chew toy--a rubber bone we found in excavating the garage. She loves it, and has been tossing it around the house. She's funny that way. Someday, I'll have to post a video to U-Tube showing everyone how NUTS she goes with a simple sock with a knot in it. Another time, I suppose.

Well, I'm going to go knit and watch television. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Progress...

Well, yesterday, Hubby and I worked on the house. We got the kitchen clean and the dining room table cleared off, and about half of the Christmas gifts wrapped, before sleep finally overtook me, and I had to have a nap.

I must have worked too hard, because the nap was 3 hours long.

Then I got up and we finished the Christmas wrapping, then I drove to the pizza place and bought pizza to eat.

On a Tuesday??

Well, I suppose the nap did a Rip Van Winkle on me, but the pizza just sounded so good!

I did a little bit of knitting yesterday too. Mostly stuff I want to complete for the classes coming up next week--Sox--and then a swatch for the lace knitting class, which should work out just fine. Next up to work on is the crochet lace class swatch. From there, I'll need to drive into town to get some red wool for felting flowers, and some baby yarn to make a baby sweater. Then I think I'm ready to go on from there.

In the meantime, I found out that one person has favorited my Christmas Stocking on Ravelry, but no one has purchased the pattern. This is sorta weird. I thought it would go like hotcakes! Being that it's the season and all that, and since it only takes a day or so to knit. So it really surprises me. Since tomorrow is Christmas (isn't it? Or am I a day off?), it really surprises me.

I think my doggie has H1N1. She's not been feeling well, and right now is snoring on the bed. She was all curled up in a ball, and so cute. I just had to pet her, which of course, woke her. Now she's staring at my back.

And my feet are cold. I better get them into socks and shoes. Hubby (also snoring) will get up soon and want me to go to work--on the house, of course, which darn it,

What kind of vacation *IS* this anyway?

But the house is coming together--albeit slowly. I have to go to the second hand furniture store to see if I can find an end table to use as the table underneath our new television. One that will act as a storage unit for our vcr tapes, the vcr, the Nintendo game, and all the other crap that goes with the television. I think it's a darn good thing I didn't get hubby a Wii. He still loves Dr. Mario.

:)

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Sock Class

Just an indication of what a person can do with a little ingenuity.

I had a sock class yesterday, and the manager signed my student up for a class on two consecutive days, which isn't a BIG problem, unless you're supposed to have the sock actually KNIT in two consecutive days, which is nearly impossible for an experienced sock knitter, let alone a beginner.

So I recommended that she switch to next week, to give her time to knit the first half of the sock (ie, to the heel flap), then I would show her how to knit the heel turn and the toes (and when to knit the toes) and to kitchner the opening shut.

It sounded like a plan to both of us, so I left a note for the store manager on her desk. I hope that she finds it okay.

This frees up my schedule so that I can go to my doctor appointment (which I had forgotten I had, just like I forgot my Woolgatherer's Dinner and my supper with my step daughter and her family--I was simply batting without a bat apparently), and also for my Da Bull Spinners Group Christmas Salad Luncheon, which I'm fixing a loaf of homemade bread. You see, I'm not so fond of salads, and figure it's the only thing I might actually eat.

Anyway, then at 4:30pm, I have another Crochet Ripple class to work on my ripple afghan. I haven't shown it to you yet, because I haven't got much done on it (only almost 7 rows) and it's looking good!

But back to the ingenuity.

I decided to make a sock for the sock class. I got about 1/2 done with the leg in 2 days which is why I offered to my student to take the 2nd installment a week later. And then I started a different kind of sock.

Maybe you can tell what it is by the beginning?


Well, I guess that let's the cat out of the bag, doesn't it?

Pattern is for sale in the right margin. Have fun knitting this one--it only took me a couple of days. Make sure you get 9" long dpns if you use dpns. Otherwise, the stocking works for Magic Loop Users just fine, and will probably go even quicker.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

More Snow!?

Well, I suppose by now, you know it's Christmastime--there's snow on the ground and more coming. The weatherman says that a big system is headed our way, but he doesn't know if it's going to be rain or snow, and while I'd rather have snow for Christmas, I'd rather it be a small dusting, rather than a cloud DUMP.

Being that I have to drive in it, and all the county workers will want those days off--and if there's a big storm and they have to work--well, consider it triple time?

And with the State is such dire need right now, I don't think the government can afford it.

But we sure can afford to pay the legislators for their holiday, can't we?

Nevermind. It's more of a rant that I have to take unpaid days off again, and I'm still trying to recover from last summer when they took my money from me and gave it away to some other thing to make the numbers agree. I think they can find a different way.

At any rate, I've been working on several projects. Last night, I finished off a Red-Heart Super Saver skein of yarn on a "wave style" ripple afghan. I figure I need at least 9 more skeins to finish the afghan.

Then I worked on some of Paton's free patterns for snowflakes. I made one. I like it. I might make another one today.

IMG00204.jpg

Then I worked on a pair of socks for the class at JoAnn's. They're using four dpns--which makes it pretty hard to teach--because you have to finagle a porcupine in your hands. I don't like using dpns. MUCH prefer Magic Loop. I find it much easier and easier on my palms as well; however, the store prefers I teach the dpn way. I think it's nuts. Everyone should be able to do it whichever way they want to do it. Sadly, JoAnn's only dpns are in bamboo, which will grab the sock yarn and make it more difficult to move the yarn around on the needles.

So I'm thinking about using some red and white Red Heart yarn and make a stocking. Sort of "seasonal", don't you think? But consider--it will show the student how to make a sock, without having to make a second one just like it! I think it's a great idea....

So I guess I better get dressed for the day and go buy two skeins of yarn at Wally World and get started because the class starts today!

Beyond that, there is not much going on. What's that you say? I know, I know. I FEEL over-extended. Now you know why.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I Waited...

I waited so patiently, and now

MY VACATION HAS FINALLY STARTED!!!! YAY!!!!!

Fireworks, please.

I could barely contain myself at the office, and was sort of sad because I wouldn't see my work buddies for TWO WHOLE WEEKS!

Oh, who am I trying to kid?

But yesterday was a long day--as I also had a class at JoAnn's, and while that was WAY more fun than working the office, it prevented me from heading home when I really wanted to get started on my holiday vacation. And then I woke up this morning, and what do I find at the start of my vacation?

Sigh.

How *am* I supposed to get around this morning, do all my Christmas shopping and go to Ray's house to work on his computer in THIS?

Well, I will just have to find a way--bundle up against the cold and head out.

I'm still working on the blue slippers. I did get one done, but didn't like how it turned out, so I made another similarly, but different, and didn't like it either. I suppose I could be a little choosy, but this is for my feet, and for a pattern I want to sell! I don't want it to look home made. I want it to look special! So for now, I have two slippers that are knit to the toes. I have to figure out a "toe treatment" (doesn't that sound like I have a fungus or something?) for these slippers, and everything I've tried has pretty much looked horrible.

Maybe I should just make a pair of those French felted slippers?

In any case, they are still on the needles, so I don't have anything to share on that front.

Class at JoAnn's-Ripple Afghan

The class at JoAnn's was fun, though. The student was really quite adept at what she was doing, and teaching the stitches was EASY, since she caught on so fast. There were only two to learn, and then she was off and running. We calculated how many chain stitches to work for a blanket, because we both wanted to make something bigger than a dishcloth, and MISCALCULATED. Sadly, by only 6 chain stitches--but it only means you have to stop crocheting a little sooner (after you have 12 "hills".). I'm putting this information here, because I'm sure she will look at this and say to herself "Oh, that's what I do! Okay." And head off on her own and make a baby blanket out of the pattern. As for me, I started an afghan with the pattern for my chair out of some multi-colored Red Heart yarn I had in one of my bins. Never mind that I'll never be able to match it. I'm sure the colorway has gone the way of all multi-colored yarns. But that's okay. I'll just get my scraps together and make it a scrappy 'ghan. The pattern was one I hadn't tried before, and it is pretty fun-quite different from the standard "Ripple" afghan we've been seeing in various shapes and forms since the 70's. I started practicing the stitches at the office yesterday (before class) to see what it turned into, and was really surprised that it wasn't the same ole thing. It was a happy surprise. Even so, I did teach her the standard ripple stitch. And then she opened her bag and brought out a couple more patterns, and asked for help in reading them. So we sat down and looked them over. That was fun, too. I think we covered a lot of ground--and no apologies here. I have unleashed another fiber artist into the world!

She will find a group and crochet with them, I'm quite sure of it. If not, then she'll sit beside the fire at home and pet the cat, while she crochets miles and miles of yarn into warm blankets for her family! I know. I'm a fiend. What can I say.

But the work-day? I couldn't motivate myself for love nor money. We had a Christmas Party, and I got

My 20 year award!

I also got my 10 year award. Apparently, the old supervisor was hoarding them? And it's sort of ironic, becase I already HAD my 10 and my 15 year awards. I think it was a sort of joke on me--but at least I have them now, and I can put them in my important papers. I'm pretty proud of those awards--a testament to my diligence! To my perseverance! My DOGGED DETERMINATION TO DO THIS JOB TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY IN THE LEAST AMOUNT OF TIME POSSIBLE.

But for whatever reason, yesterday, I just couldn't get the juice flowing. Maybe it was just last day before vacation doldrums. Maybe the knowledge that my vacation goes by so fast, and before I know it I'm back in the office chair again. I know that I'm going to enjoy the rest and relaxation--and I feel much "readier" to tackle today!

Well, I'm off to begin my day. Hope yours is as lovely as I intend mine to be, and if I don't see you before then--

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Would you like Crackers with your Whine?

Aw, but I'm too tired to go to work!

I am tired, too.

I dropped into bed at 8:30pm last night, which surprised hubby. I don't think he realized that I was that tired. I woke up when he came to bed, and asked him, more than reminded him--had he turned on the corn stove, because I wanted to shower in the morning, which is something I do every Monday morning, for the last 10 years, whether I needed it or not.

And his reply?

No.

Hot damn! I was FURIOUS! It meant that I had to get up, clean the stove, restock the firepit and get it burning well.

An hour later, and it was finally going well.

Of course, by that time I'm wide awake after a 2 hour nap, and can't get back to sleep. So I lay in bed scratching my head, wondering why this man is so thoughtless? And of course, when he woke me up that way, I called him a few choice names. When I returned to bed, he tried to justify himself (even though he knows that it was a supreme faux pas on his part).

And then, at 4am, the dog started barking to be let out, and I ignored her.

Completely.

And he did something quite uncharacteristic.

He got up and let her out. Then he fed her.

Who stole my thoughtless husband during the night?

So now, I don't have to get him back when he starts school--make him be wakeful all night long trying to get back to sleep, when he's got class the next morning early. The downside to all this is that I'm exhausted this morning, and worried about the drive because it's supposed to be icy out there this morning from last night's freezing drizzle.

Certainly not looking forward to that on a day when I got enough sleep the night before, let along being sleepy at the wheel.

I thought about calling in, but then the alarm went off and the dog went nuts, and I simply knew that I wouldn't be able to sleep for "just a little bit more". So I got up and got my shower (warm house thank god), and I am heading out in a few minutes.

Hubby?

Oh, he's snoring. Like usual. He's retired, so he doesn't have anything to get him up in the morning anymore.

But I don't wanna! I wanna sleep some more!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

One Slipper, Two Slipper, Red Slipper, Blue Slipper

Okay, just one slipper and it's blue, but I couldn't resist.

My first attempt at making a slipper similar to the Edelweiss that I found on a German site. The pattern is nearly a go, but needs a bit of tweeking to make it perfect. Also, wanted to try it using double strand, but first, I think I will make it's mate--then work the tweeking and double stranding in another brand of yarn. Otherwise, things went really well.

Pattern will be available soon. First I have other knitting to do.

IMG00195.jpg

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Dark and Damp

Hubby and I have been sorting through junk in the basement. Now, all of my craft and related stuff is in the room--safely stored away. The rest is his old computer junk--stuff from the 70's and 80's that won't even run on today's computers.

Yet he wants to keep all of it and go through it to see if it will work or not, and if it doesn't, it goes in the trash.

I say we just junk it and go back to bed.

The end of it all was when he lost his temper at me over one certain item dealing with the waterbed, which he is loathe to be rid of--however, this morning, he was saying we'd junk it. Now he wants to save it for a friend of his son's. But I wasn't about to stand for him losing his mind over it, so I came upstairs.

Knitting has been rather uneventful, as I am working on the slipper, preparing the pattern and so forth--which is slow going. I'm hoping to make the pattern easier than it is, so that it knits up rather mindlessly. Right now, it's a bit tedious and arduous, the increases are in the wrong place. I began with a few too many stitches...things like that.

I'm actually nearly done with it. I just don't feel like knitting right now--possibly because I'm angry at hubby for his stupid temper. I did, however, find my webcam--it's an old one, a usb--and I'm hoping that I can use it to conference with friends overseas. That might be fun.

But right now, I am bored silly, and if I didn't have an item on Ebay to bid on in 20 minutes, I might lie down and take a nap...but I can do that after I finish the bidding. There are no bids yet on this item, and I might be able to walk away with it cheap. I'm still hoping.

Well, enough wasting time. I'm not sure how we're going to deal with all the stuff we intend to throw out, but we will have to deal with it soon. My step-son will be here in a few days, and all the crap has to be dealt with in one way or another.

I do not look forward to it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's Finished!

Ah, one more job I can cross off my list. We finally finished getting things out of the bigger bedroom for the step-son, and most of my "stuff" piled in the little room. Most of it I have to go through, and put books on shelves, magazines in magazine holders and a variety of other miscellany, but beyond that, it's finished.

And are we ever tired!

I told hubby that if he'd buy, I'd fly--a little phrase he came up with to denote "I'll pay for supper if you'll drive to get it." I'm generally happy to do so--it means:

I
Don't
Have
to Cook.
And I'm all about no housework!

So as soon as my Ebay finishes in another half hour, I'm going to head out, and thought I would type a few lines beforehand.

I started knitting the slippers. I'm up to row 13. I'm using Cascade 220 and size 7 needles. I can see that the fabric, while snug enough for a bedsock, won't hold up to a slipper, so I'm figuring double thickness on the knitting, which means I could go up to a size 8 or 9--and have plenty of stitch definition, and a little bit of firmness in the fabric as well. That will be a plus, considering that I would like the slippers to hold up to scruffing around the house.

Heck, I might even line them with a little bit of fleece--who knows what I might do next?

I do however, wish that the item I'm bidding on would be over sooner, because I'm hungry. It would be nice to be able to knit while watching my Ebay item. Sadly, if I do that, I will forget to come in to the computer room and bid. Not a good idea.

Wow! The wind is really blowing outside! Of course, you know that wind saved our butts from getting the worst of that storm that was coming--blew most of it to the north country, and they'll be happy for it. I don't know. I like a little snow around Christmas. It's not really Christmas without a little snow on the ground. However, I want it gone by my birthday, which is the day after.

Yes, yes, I'm a Christmas baby. My hubby doesn't like my birthday, because I demand he get me two presents every year. One for my birthday, one for Christmas. I've never been short-shrifted on my birthday, and I'm not about to start now. Last year, he only got me one present, and he has paid dearly ALL YEAR. Just ask him!

And of course, it's boxing day, and all the stores have incredible savings on Christmas-related items. I have Christmas items that live in boxes that haven't seen the light of day in years, because every year, I buy a new set because I can't find last year's set. I have Christmas wrap that is probably 10 years old. I still use it. Why not? It's not like it goes bad or anything! The most I will buy at the Christmas related stuff sales is ribbon and bows for next year's presents. This year, however, I have a lot to wrap, so it might happen that I need to buy some new paper for next year--one never knows. Naturally, I ration paper, and I do all the wrapping, conserving paper for smaller items after I've wrapped the larger items.

I am a little at a loss about what to get for the grandkids, though. They have all the toys that they could ever need. I do have a dolly in the present box that I think my grand-daughter will love, but my grandson is another story. I suppose that I'll have to contact my step daughter and ask her what special items they want or need, and go from there. I doubt very much that anything I get for this year will top what I got him last year--a batman hat--see right column. I am told that he wore it to bed that first night, and was so excited for school to start so he could wear it to school, that he was bugging his mother daily for what day it was, and how many more days before he could go back to school?

Well, you know, that just made me smile inside.

I'm very happy when my projects are loved and appreciated, used and worn. My son is especially appreciative about the items that I create for him. I believe he's still wearing the vests that I made for him last year. Or was it two years ago? You know, the days, they sorta run together anymore. But having somebody appreciate what you've made with your own two hands is just about the best feeling in the world. I think next year, I should knit mittens. Lots and lots of mittens and give them to a local church to give to folks who might not have mittens. That sounds like a worthwhile endeavor. God knows I have lots of acrylic yarn that I could put to good use.

It's something to think about at least.

In the meanwhile, I think I'll just revel in the knowing that the knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, sewing and other miscellaneous craft room is finally at a point where I can pretty much call it done--and now just an hour a day or so to sort through things and neaten them up. It will give me hours of enjoyment going through the older magazines, checking out things that I haven't looked at for years. It will be like going to the store and buying new books and magazines all over again. But at least I can take my time on it, and do it right.

And that makes me feel very rested and relaxed. Hubby's son can move in now without worry about all my stuff in the way. It's a good feeling.

Watch Out World!

I have taken on the task of unleashing new knitters into the world--and they are coming in droves and leaving with new skills! Off to buy yarn and patterns and magazines and books! Watch out world! Here they come!

Last night was a cable class--remember the cable hat in the right hand column--well one student showed, the other--not sure--just a no show. So maybe forgot--or maybe it was a "special" instance last night, but we had SUCH FUN!

She caught on to the material for the class quickly, and I was able to let her "go at her own speed" for comfort sake. But her questions were informed and direct, and I was able to satisfy her needs for information. She's heading for Florida, with another set of skills and the ability to go quite far with her knitting.

I'm excited, not just by her advances, but by all my students advances. One baby step at a time and practice, practice, practice. Soon your knitting will come together in sweaters and cardis! I wish you all good luck with it--and, if you still have trouble...you are welcome to inquire here, or at my email!

In the meanwhile, my Knifty Knitter Loom Hat class happened, and I did learn how to use that Knifty Knitter. I finished my hat (I have to do some surgery.), and put on a tassle and some i-cord for the earflaps, but other than that, I'm done. As I was working on it, though, Hubby stopped by, looked at it, and said

"I might be interested in trying that!"

Now, he's never put forth any interest in anything knitting, mostly because he believes he wouldn't be able to maneuver the needles with his hands--which I think is nuts. I think he would love the mechanics of it, but I'm what? I'm JUST a woman. There you go.

So this expression of interest was novel and fun. I told him that sure! I'd teach him how to use it, both for in the round and flat knitting. That made his eyes sparkle. I think I might have another "closet knitter" in my husband. Time will tell.

Our area has a winter storm watch posted, beginning today at 3pm, and ending on Thursday. Obviously, if it snows, sleets and rains all that time, it's going to be a mess. I surely hope we don't lose electricity, although if it sleets and the wires fall, that is sure to happen. I'm not certain how we'll cope without our corn stove. We might have to move in with hubby's mother until the electric comes back on. See, this was my concern this summer when I tried to get hubby interested in building a windmill, just to run the corn stove. However, nothing in this house runs without electricity--except the dog--and even then, I'm not so sure, since she's something of an energizer bunny.

Well, it's a slow news day on the blog, I guess.

I didn't get much done on the Sharon Miller Princess Shawl at all yesterday in favor of other tasks--and it was a short work day for the office, but a long day, nonetheless, since I didn't get back home until 9:30pm. Long day on the road. I'm also "unventing" the slipper pattern I showed you a few days ago. Once I get a workable pattern, I will post it here for sale and on ravelry. I think it's a cute slipper. I don't think the making will be a problem. And of course, the Knifty Knitter Loom Hat.

But now, it's time to go to the office. CYA!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Runaway Knitter! Be on the Lookout!


I think I've run screaming into the night before, but this one takes the cake. I've made so many mistakes on this shawl that I'm pretty disgusted with myself. It has slowed my knitting to a crawl, mostly because I can't see the string--

Oh, that's right. I was going to get a picture of that..hold on while I do that... And there you have it--obviously the tiny string on the left is the shawl thread, and on the right is normal dishcloth cotton.

So figure if you have trouble holding on to dishcloth cotton, imagine how hard it is to see this little stuff? Sorry the pic is so fuzzy. I was a bit too close to the subject, the lighting was bad (you know...the standard excuses.) It's not so much that I can't hang onto this stuff, although that fact does play havoc with my gauge, but more that I can't seem to keep the pattern straight. Now I know that a left-leaning decrease is an SSK and a right leaner is a K2Tog. I know this from SOCKS, for crying out loud, but couldn't we use an S for ssk and a K for K2tog? I mean, I realize that the back and forward slash show the direction of the lean, but they are simply TOO MUCH ALIKE, and I confuse them CONSTANTLY.

It's just a matter of reading the pattern, but I do mess these two up all the time--even an L and R would seem to be more appropriate for those of us who have mild cases of dyslexia where the forward and backslash are concerned...add to that the fact that I didn't even really KNOW what they were until high school, and I started knitting LONG before that.

Okay, no nasty comments from the peanut gallery out there.

But seriously, I know the idea is to make the chart look more like the knitting, but guess what? When I do a k1 over the top of a k1, I pretty much know what I'm doing and where I'm at on the chart, but stick in a decrease or a yarn over, and I'm pretty much lost. I do okay--as long as I keep my eyes on the correct row....and that's another story entirely.

I've taken to laminating my pattern and using a dry erase marker to check off the rows as I knit them. Adding precious time to completing the point (which, by the way, is 20 rows long and impossible to memorize). So it feels like it takes longer. And when I get to the end of the row and have stitches left over? Or if I'm a stitch short? I have to tink back 2 rows, and let me tell you--with this thin thread, IT. IS. NOT. FUN.

At all.

I have these teenie tiny circular needles--I think that they are size 4. And they are sharp as the dickens, believe me. I think they are Inox needles, but I still have trouble tinking the ssk and k2tog.

That is, if I can see that it's a ssk or k2tog--if I don't it's dropped stitch city, and that's a mess in and of itself. So far, I don't believe I have a problem there, but blocking will tell the truer story.

So, I'm getting frustrated, but I want to keep at it. I'm considering getting stronger reading glasses for this specific project--then again, I might head over to the eye doctor to see if my prescription has changed any. The glasses that they set me up with? I can't use them. I can only actually SEE through the bifocal--imagine how difficult that is when you're trying to read what's on the computer? I'd sooner use nothing than to suffer with the daily neck cramping.

Hmmm. Guess today was a rant day?

Onward and upward. Today, I teach two classes at JoAnn's Frandor Mall store. Apparently, a scheduling fiasco that has resulted in two classes at the same time today. This is going to be a bit crazy, I think. I'll be working with three students at learning to knit, and one student wants to make the hat on a loom. That should be much fun, because I've never knit on a loom before, so it will be a learning experience for me as well as for the student! That will be a neat trick! I'm also planning to take along the hat I made--the one in the sidebar, actually, to show this student the hat I made out of the swatch I taught her in a previous class on cables. I think she'll get a kick out of it. Maybe she'll actually want to make it?

Well, I suppose that I should get started learning how to use that loom so that I can teach the class. It's going to be a wild time!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Princess Shawl

I miscounted.

I have now 43 points of the 85 that I need, which puts me 1/2 point beyond the halfway point (no pun intended). Considering that I purchased the shawl 5 years ago in 2004, and if I keep at it like I have, I won't have it done until I'm dead and gone...however, the border will be done in 2013.

Seriously.

Do you really think that my attention can hold this heirloom piece for another 4 years, let alone the rest of my lifetime? I think it's time to work on this one in earnest and get it into the finished object pile.

In the meanwhile, I am still going through books and magazines for my craft room. I found my little hot glue gun, and put it away with the bigger hot glue gun of my hubby's from when he was making floral arrangements. Sigh. I even moved 2 "holy crap! They weigh a TON!" antique sewing machines. I still have the old treadle machine, too. Very happy to finally see that back in the corner, and yes, I can see the corner. The end to this project is in sight, and I sure will be happy when I'm done, but I will tell you this. I have many hours of sorting to do before it's done. I think I have somewhere near 10,000 magazines of every genre--knitting, crochet, quilting and more. It's as if I own a magazine shop specifically devoted to crafting. How in the world do I have time to craft all this stuff? What was I thinking?

Although, I have to admit, that there is a lot of learning in those books and magazines. A TON!

And there are quilting patterns up the ying--well, nevermind. A whole entire box devoted to applique patterns-everything from soup to nuts.

I'm going to have to sell some of it on ebay, I think, but it will take me YEARS to organize it enough to where I can actually put that sort of project together.

Guess I'll take a break and work on the Princess Shawl. Everything left is either too heavy or too bulky for me to lift and go through, so I'll wait until later when hubby is up to it.

Seriously Cute Slippers


And I'm working on finding the pattern.

Just what I needed. Another project.

Couldn't get to sleep last night. It was midnight, and I was tossing and turning. So I rose up out of bed and went to my knitting chair, turned on David Letterman, and started knitting on Princess Shawl again. Talk about tired! But I got another point done--and then watched Craig Ferguson.

I think Craig Ferguson is the funniest Scot I've ever seen on television. He reminds me a little of the zaniness of Robin Williams, who I loved in Patch Adams and the remake of Peter Pan, called Hook. But Craig has a way of inserting secsual innuendo (also one of his favorite terms) into his monologue, and even though he's married, he leaves you wondering sometimes what his preferences might be. By that, I mean that there's not much unfunny about Craig. I love how he reads emails from his fans on the show. Last night there was an email from someone asking if he needed someone to wash his clothes, make his meals, etc., and he looked up at the camera, and replied

"yes"

I thought it was just hilarious--especially if you were to see the forlorn look on his face! But that HAIR? Methinks he needs to find a comb with teeth in it.

Well, I must get dressed and head out to the store to get a dry erase marker. Every single one I have is dried out. I need one with lots of ink. I think I know where I can find it. I also need to count my points and figure out again how many more that I need before I can start on the inside of the shawl--I thought that I had 30 to go, but now I am not so sure. I'll let you know.

In the meanwhile, waiting for the slipper pattern.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Work Week Is OVER!

Kaput!
I am so glad.
Work cuts into my knitting time in such a big way.

However, I have been able to get another point done on the border for the Princess Shawl. Yes. Color me IDIOT. It took two days to do one point, and I did that in about an hour--needless to say, I didn't knit ANY for the last two evenings. I'm pretty sure it's because I CAN'T SEE THE DARN THREAD!

I'm not exaggerating, either. I'll have to take a picture of the thread up against some worsted weight dishcloth cotton, just to give you a frame of reference.

Even crochet cotton is THICKER!

And my vision is so bad, that every thread looks like two, no matter which glasses I wear. Obviously, I won't be able to knit this when I'm tired. So this evening, I opted to hold off until tomorrow.

The re-arranging of my sewing, knitting, quilting, craft room is coming along slowly, but surely. I have MOST of it moved from the big bedroom into the small bedroom. I purchased some crates to help with the books and magazines. I found another milk crate from my *ahem* college days. And before you accuse me of some nefarious behavior, you should know that it was my roommates who filched them from the local stores, and then left them with me when the school year was out and they had no room in the car to put them. I ended up with 7 or 8 of them. I would like MORE. They are MUCH sturdier than the ones I purchased at Staples! However, the ones I got at Staples stack nicely, and they are wider, allowing for MORE BOOKS. Oh, time to hit the bookstore for more knitting books?

I think not. My husband would leave me.

As it is, I've come across this infatuation with Susan Bates Circlon needles--these things have points that just won't quit. They're nylon, and they're cheap. I'm buying as many as I can here and there wherever I can find them. I'm considering going to the antique store in Mason tomorrow to see if I can find any more of them. To date, I've purchased a 5 and a 7, a 10 and a 13--plus the size 7 I have that I use for dishcloths--yes, I thought I'd lost it. Now I think the cat dragged it off the table and onto the floor. I found it over by the television, and IMMEDIATELY put it away in a drawer, away from chewing cat teeth.

Make a toy out of my knitting needle, eh? I'll get you my kitty,

(insert Wicked Witch of the East cackle here), and your little catnip toy too!

And by the bored look I'm getting from my tiger cat, Chat, I can tell I've REALLY made this huge impression.

Oh, he's SOOOO scared.

Yeah, right.

So work today went fine. Cold outside, but still walked to lunch with a friend, which was an excellent break in the day. Then back to work to warm up and get something--ANYTHING--done! How is it that I feel like I work my fingers to the bone, but after all that's done, there's nothing left on my desk to show for it? Funny how that works out, and how I feel like I haven't completed much of anything, because when *I'M* done with it, I get it OUT OF MY OFFICE, and into someone else's--consequently, at the end of the day, if nothing is on my desk, I have completed much--I just don't have much to show for it.

It makes people think that I'm incredibly efficient.

Truth be told--I just hate the stress of having too much STUFF in my office. People pass by and think I have nothing to do most of the time, because I am incredibly good at hiding stuff. But the quicker I can get rid of it (ie, do my bit, and heft it off onto someone else to finish the rest of it), the happier I am. God help the person down the line who isn't interested in getting their job done right after I do mine--because they will quickly find themselves overloaded. I'm THAT fast.

I'm told that I'm really good at what I do. But I look at my desk at the end of the day, having done it all, with not much left to work on in the morning following (and for sure, I don't like leaving stuff on FRIDAY--GOD HELP US ALL!), and I think, hmm...I know I worked all day. What did I do?

But today, I had a small pile of work left at the end of the day, about 10 minutes before I left the office for the weekend.

I felt like I hadn't done my job right. There's WORK LEFT! That shouldn't happen on a Friday! How will I sleep tonight--knowing that there is work sitting here, waiting for me, on Monday morning?

How indeed.

I guess I'll have to force myself, baby. I'm not staying here until it's done. And I literally had to tell myself that, while I put on my hat and coat, gloves and scarf--grabbed my purse and my knitting, and headed out of the office.

And then...the phone rang.

And as I ran screaming to the elevator, I could hear it still ringing...that is, until voice mail picked up the call. And the elevator came and swept me away from it all, bringing me to the first floor in a bullet casing, and I whistled while I walked out the door into the blustery twilight that happens earlier and earlier these days...bundled myself against the wind chill, and walked to my car.

I decided that on the way home, I would pick up a few groceries for the weekend, and then headed home, imagining work on the craft room (but knowing better) . On arrival, I helped unload the car with hubby and started supper for the two of us. Then I literally fell into my chair, watched the last bit of "Blow" with Johnny Depp, and then "Ghost Whisperer" and "Medium".

Somewhere in between the shows, I re-arranged the living room to accommodate my chair at the other end of the room, because hubby had the volume up so high on the television that it was hurting my ears. Sadly, it also means that I'm sitting near the fireplace, which is a HOT place to be, and I don't need any more heat than my own body emits during those "power surges"...sigh...but move I did. Hubby isn't happy with the arrangement, but I need a table on each side of my chair. One to hold my drink. The other holds my knitting in progress. We can't mix the two. I am dangerous. It's why I don't usually have a drink near my computer--for the self-same reason. I. Am. A. Spiller!

So then, how did your day go?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Another Dishcloth

Well, Monthly Dishcloth Yahoo Group put out a really cute cloth for Mid-November 2009--a Christmas Angel-early for the season, but no less cute!



Help me out here. I'm freezing!

Hubby's got the Nintendo hooked up to the new television, and he's playing the games he loved as a younger man. The games that he played with his kids.

It's like watching Pong.

I never did understand the draw of computer games, anymore than I understand the draw of drugs or gambling. Give me a good pattern and some yarn any day! Beyond that, I think they cause me stress that I can't deal with internally. It's not "fun" for me. Although I did like the pinball games--especially when Elton John's "Pinball Wizard" came out on the radio. That and all the songs for the movie "Grease", John Denver and Olivia Newton-John. Oh it was a good year for music!

Shh! I'm showing my age! LOL!

Anyway, the little cloth is finished and I can start a new project, although, I believe that I'm going to work on the Princess Shawl beginning tomorrow. I still have quite a few points to put on the border, and trust me, it's looking pretty good.

I also spent some time today working on my sewing room. It's turning into more of a storage room--and I am quickly running OUT of storage room. I have to stop at Walmart for more Milk Crates for books and magazines, so that I can store all these books and magazines.

There goes hubby, losing again on Nintendo...bah humbug. I suppose it keeps him occupied with things that drive him more crazy than he already is, and let me tell you, if the curse words are any indication, I'd best stay in my room!

Morning Already!

This morning, as I was leaving the house, a vehicle sat, just the other side of the main road from my house. This wouldn't necessarily unnerve me, except that this vehicle sat there for quite a long while, with no cross traffic, and then allowed me to turn first and pulled in behind me, and...

Well, it unnerved me enough to turn off onto a different road than I normally do. The vehicle continued on--but I find it increasingly disconcerting that the older I get, the more paranoid I become. I suppose it's an after-effect of living with an abusive man (my ex-husband), but what can I say?

And while I'm on the topic, let me just say, that being abusive doesn't necessarily mean beating somebody up--it can be as innocuous as CHEATING on your spouse. In many cases, it's a way to abuse your spouse, especially if you know that it would be HURTFUL if your spouse "found out". Make no mistake about it. Even if you think that you're not harming anyone--even if your spouse professes that it doesn't bother him/her--DON'T BELIEVE IT. Most people will deny being hurt out of pride for their own selves, and bury the hurt deep within, causing even more damage, because what's hidden within, comes out in myriad ways that are most often unexpected.

Love your spouse today. Give them a big hug and kiss.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's FINISHED!

My son's Devil's Heat Hat is finished!

What's weird, is that I tried to upload the pic to flickr, but for whatever reason, it hasn't posted yet, so it's going to be a little bit.

Let me just say for the record, that this is the BEST hat I've ever made, and I'm looking forward to making another one, with a snowflake motif--in keeping with the season, you understand!

A Quick Note...

I just wanted to write that I am nearly done with the Devil's Heat Hat. My son is going to love this! What am I saying? *I* love this hat! I might just make another for myself!

Pics to follow--maybe tonight when I finish it? I hope. I still have 60 pairs of stitches left to decrease, and it's slow going because I really want to finish this.

What to do next? What to do!?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Progress on my DK Hat-Devil's Heat

Anyone care for a picture?

IMG00183.jpg

I think the pattern turned out beautiful, and I'm very pleased. I figure my son will love it too, and I can't wait to give it to him.

Notice how it's already nearly half done?? Well that's because my student didn't show up yesterday, and I returned home quite a bit earlier than I expected. I hope that doesn't happen very often, as I do love my teaching job. In the meanwhile, I applied for a job at JoAnn's hoping to obtain a regular sales job, now that I have my foot in the door. We'll see how that goes.

In the meanwhile, more knitting in store!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Hat for My Son

Well, I finally made some decisions, and here's the final bit.
A Double Knit Hat with No Turned up Edge...similar to my flower power hat, but with this chart---

IMG00180.jpg

Here's how much I had done last night, but I'm a lot further now.

IMG00182.jpg

And there you have it.

I think I might upload this to Ravelry. The chart might be a sticking point, because I editted someone else's chart to fit my project, but essentially, it's the same chart...just "different".

So there you go. I'll try to get another pic up tomorrow when I have something more to show, and the way the hat is going, I could have the entire pattern area done before I go to bed tonight--if that's the case, I might just do the pic tonight! Won't that be a thrill?

Okay, enough about that.

I went in today to teach a class, but my student didn't show up. That really discouraged me--it's not that I don't get paid or anything like that, but I was really looking forward to bringing another fiber person "into the fold" as it were--teaching her the myriad ways to get "caught up" in the addiction. Sadly, the student didn't show, and the teacher drove home.

To find that hubby wants to work some more on the bedroom downstairs. I haven't begun to think about it today, and he is raring to go! I suppose I should be thankful for it, but I'm not. We worked our buns off yesterday, and ended up sniping at each other over the slightest things. Makes it feel like it's more work than it's worth when that happens, and I determine that it's time to stop and take a break.

The thing is, coming home, I had other plans. This is not going to go well. I can just tell.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Another Dishcloth

This is my November 2009 Monthly Dishcloth, done a second time with a dark green, rather than the lime green that I made first. I guess I don't have a preference, although I think the lighter colors show up the pattern to it's best advantage.

I had hoped to add some ornaments and bulbs to it, so that I had a Christmas-y cloth, but then I'd never use it for it's intended purpose.

Then my husband says to me:

"I don't know what you're going to do with all these dishcloths. You never use them. No one else likes them..." and he was about to continue when I interjected, very angry--

"Well, that's a real nice thing to say to me! After all the nice things I make to tell me that nobody likes my gifts?" Well, I was REALLY ANGRY, and stormed out of the house. I came back, but I was pretty miffed.

"First off," I said, "is that if you ever want another hand made gift from me, it's probably best you keep your mouth shut--even if you don't like it. And SECONDLY, do not make nasty, mean comments about the items that I give away as gifts. After all, I can't afford to buy $1000 televisions. You are lucky to get what you get. Considering all the time I put into the work, not to mention the idea phase, I should think you'd be proud of me. And if I have a thousand cloths in my drawer and never use a one, WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?"

By now, I'm on a roll.

"So if you can't say something nice, don't say anything, or at the worst, freaking LIE TO ME! I don't want you belittling my handiwork, since you have no idea what goes into it! I'd like to see you put together some of the things that I've done over the years, and I bet YOU CAN'T."

Ooh, and I'm just a fuming!

"So TAKE THAT!"

And then we drove to Best Buy to get our new television.

This thing is beyond huge.

The plan is to put it on the wall. Our old television will likely go downstairs in the great room, but for now, the new television sits on top of the old one, which looks a little strange...but what can you do? I ask you!

So the weather is turning colder, but the day is just gorgeous outside. I want to get dressed and head out and do something fantastic--like go to JoAnn's with this 20% off coupon and buy a bunch of crochet cotton for my mother for Christmas--maybe some dishcloth cotton for my mother in law, and of course, my son's hat...a top down raglan with a cable in front for my hubby, and whatever for the name I draw for his family.

And that will be pretty much the extent of my Christmas shopping. So it will be a quick and easy year this year, I think. I look forward to it already.

In the meantime...on to knitting!

Friday, November 27, 2009

While the World Watches

Today is Black Friday.

The day after Thanksgiving--yes, thank you, I had a nice Thanksgiving supper. It wasn't home cooking, but it was fine. I hope that you and yours had a wonderful time.

But for now, I want to talk about Black Friday.

Wednesday night, hubby and I went to Best Buy to get our new television. I'm pretty excited about the new television. It's not the BEST we could get, but it was all hubby was willing to shell out of pocket, because his mother knows him so well...and she provided part of the funding for it, so it would basically force him to play his cards--I just hope that he's satisfied with the picture...but that's not the point, and I digress so easily...

Outside Best Buy were two dome tents--people! Camping out on Wednesday night so that they were there, Friday morning, EARLY to get the FIRST Best Buy "best buy". Camping out. On a sidewalk. In 30 degree weather (and rain--don't forget the rain).

I've heard of people who camp out at concerts, days in advance to make sure and certain that they cash in on the best seats they can, but this is Black Friday--What could possibly be so important? Frankly, I don't believe that I am that desperate.

My boss at JoAnn's fabrics tells me that the store is a mob scene on Black Friday. There I am, on the telephone, offering to come in to help at the cutting counter, which has a line waiting that goes all the way around the store TWICE. That's not counting the lines that form in the opposite direction that want to get out of the store, but have to go through checkout first. I could have worked either counter, but there was no time to apply and go through orientation, so I just gave up the idea. Of course, it might be a good idea around the holidays.

In the meanwhile, I see crowds at the discount and warehouse stores. Let's not even go to the mall! Hubby and I are not good in crowds--and I'm asking him.

"Do we want to pick up the television tonight??" Ever hopeful that we can watch Medium and Ghost Whisperer on the BIG screen tonight.

"I'd like to watch it on the big television," he says. "But I'm not about to forge through the crowds today."

"Yeah, I guess I feel the same, too," says I. It's just not worth it to us.

Add to that, the fact that I simply don't like going to town PERIOD during this season. There are simply too many crazies out there who DON'T know how to DRIVE. We're already experiencing higher than normal accident rates on the roadways. I came upon two on Wednesday afternoon--people in a hurry to get home and get prepared for Thanksgiving with their family, some who will now spend the day in the hospital, recovering from head wounds and broken bones--was it worth the hurry?

And I don't care much for the stress from the hurry. It aggravates my IBS (something I'm sure was a TMI moment for you) and then I don't much enjoy my holiday either. Take that, you hurrying hoard! But people get crazy at this time of year. Everything is hurry, hurry, hurry! Even Toys R Us opened--MUCH EARLIER than any of the other Black Friday Elitists--at Midnight--a time when I was fast asleep, counting Z's and such. People who work at these stores barely have time to digest their Thanksgiving dinner before they have to go to work AGAIN under these stressful conditions. They can have it.

I'll just stay home, thanks.

But perhaps...yes perhaps I will go to McDonald's and grab lunch. After all, a girl's gotta eat, and since our supper Thanksgiving left no leftovers, I'm thinking McDonald's is a good choice, fast, just 5 minutes away, and 5 minutes home again, safe and sound to devour my lunch.

I can live with that sort of hurry hurry.

I'm having a fit of startitis. I want to get going on my son's hat, but feeling a bit at odds with myself. I want to and then again, I don't. Maybe I need a break from knitting? Oh, dear, I will go nuts if I take a break from knitting.

I did however, finish a small cloth with a tree on it. A duplicate of the lime green cloth--just a different color is all.

And then hubby and I went to the basement to work a bit on the craft and sewing room--clearing it out and prepping it for ALL my sewing and knitting, crochet, quilting--you name it--stuff. Hopefully, it will become an orderly confusion. The floor is now CLEAR of clutter, bugs, spiders and dust and dirt. We had to bring in the Shop Vac to do it. Now, I need to get window plastic and put up blankets on the windows, so that light doesn't destroy the fabrics. This might help with the bug population, too. I am probably more hopeful about that than is realistic. There also seems to be a small water problem in the closet, so everything will need to go on STILTS so that water can't get to the items "accidentally". That would be a disaster. Trust me on this.

So there's still some work to be done in the room, but we are slowly making headway. I'm getting excited about it, and it looks like soon I will have a little more order to my life. We shall see. Maybe I'll feel like knitting later, when the hoopla has wound down. Right now, I need lunch.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Computer Updates

I must say, they suck--especially when the computer is

1. In your bedroom and
2. When it reboots twice in less than an hour.


Yes, friends I was rudely awakened on my first day of Turkey Time at 3:30am with the familiar "I am booting" song played by my computer when it logs me in, anew, after an update. This happened twice last night.

I think Microsoft does that on purpose!

In the meantime, while I've been awake for the last two hours of my HOLIDAY WHEN I DON'T HAVE TO GET OUT OF BED UNTIL AFTERNOON day, I finished the Piggie Pillow, Porker.

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Pay no mind to the bits of glue on his nose--those will disappear. It's just that I'd just finished gluing.

And if I do say so myself (and I usually do, as you are by now aware), he is cute as a button--even if he does appear to have been "tying one on" last night. He obtained the name "Porker", because his body is so much bigger than his head. Lots of bacon on this pig! He gives new meaning to the term "Pork Bellies".

So now, another project finished. What will be next?

I'm thinking about a hat for my son. I purchased the yarn last night, and thought about getting it started today. Trouble is, I can't decide what TYPE of hat I want to begin. You see, this is the problem with knowing so many different techniques...for instance, I could begin with a standard stockinette hem, pick up the cast on stitches about an inch later to make a nice edge, then continue on in stockinette and just make a "generic hat", or I could do double knitting, making the hat reversible, or I could do some fair isle--I have this really cool dragon pattern that I know he'd like to have (so would I), or I could just make a standard hat out of ribbing (not much imagination there), or a toque, or a hat with ear flaps, or a helmet, or...

I could have just said the possibilities and offerings are pretty much endless, but I want him to wear this hat, the same way he wears his gloves--EVERY DAY! (Betcha thought he wore his gloves on his head, huh? Crazy images come to mind at 5am, trust me.) So I'd like it to be something nice, and I thought I could probably get a fair isle hat (just not the dragon hat) done by Christmas without too much ballyhoo--but then the issue is if not the dragon hat, then "what"? So I'm pending the project until inspiration hits me full in the face.

The colors he wants are to match the Devil's Heat gloves--which I easily found similar colors in Cascade 220 superwash. And I considered using the same essential "pattern" I used for the gloves on the hat, but I'd like the flames to begin right at the hem edge--and that seems a bit "fiddly" to me. Plus this, fair isle isn't stretchy like ribbing or stockinette in one color--that means sizing is a big issue--and if it's made too small--well you get the picture. Try to stick a child sized hat on an adult head, whaddya get? Pop goes the weasel. So something simpler might be in order--just your standard hat with a flip up hem in ribbing and a stockinette body, with some stripes on the hem? Sounds like a boring knit to me!

Back to pending the project until inspiration attacks.

In the meantime, Porker is done, and I couldn't be happier with the way he turned out.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Piggie, Nearly Done

Just have to embroider his face on, and can't do that UNTIL I have the floss to do it.

I'm thinking some for the nose, but instead of a mouth, I'll get some red felt and make a tongue and glue it on, along with some wiggly eyes.

Will post a pic of the finished pig.



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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Porker Is Nearly Done!

I was going to work on him tonight to finish him, but then simply ran out of time. I'll take him to work tomorrow to see if I can get him sewn up.

I need to gather up some polyfil, the sewing needle and the parts, which are all finished knitting wise, and sew everything together on break and lunch.

He will be ready for my mum's Christmas.

Then I begin on my son's hat to match his flaming fingerless gloves.

I am just a crafty guru this week, and things are really coming together.

Pics tomorrow if I get Porker done. STAY TUNED!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Absolutely Amazing


And, yes, I am capable of knitting like this. Sadly, there are no patterns like this in the US. They are all in GERMANY!

Go figure.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oh Beautiful...


This is a wonderful pattern, and I can't wait to buy it. Maybe after Christmas???

Oh, and I found a round pillow form at JoAnn's. Not in with the pillows, mind you, but in the upholstery fabric aisle!

And here is my Piggie Pillow Progress, pictured on the pillow. Is this turning out PERFECT or what? I think I am very happy with the way it's turning out, even if I did have to edit the pattern a bit.

:)

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It Couldn't Have Worked Out Better!

Have you ever determined that you were going to accomplish certain things only to find out after the plan that things weren't going to go according to Hoyle?

**special note: phrase "According to Hoyle" is a reference to Hoyle's Book of Rules for Card Games...therefore "according to Hoyle means that things just aren't playing the game by the rules...you get the picture....right?

Anyway, today, I have a plan.
I have no idea if the plan will work, but I'm going to attempt it anyway.
I am going to tackle the basement.
I am working up the ambition.
I have cleaned my kitchen, checked the bathroom and cleaned what needed to be-done.
I stared laundry.

All these things on my to do list.

Next, at noon, I leave to get groceries. Now groceries for our house is no "run to the store and buy" sort of endeavor. It's a "make a list, check it twice, then go to 3-5 stores to get everything" sort of endeavor.

Hmm...I still have to get to that basement.

And somewhere in there is an update to my blog (this one). And I'm perfectly okay with pre-empting groceries and basement for blogging. Of course, then later on, I have my Knitting 101 class, and somewhere in there, I have to shower and things like that--check my pocketbook and buy yarn (since I'll be in the store anyway--not that I need yarn, mind you, but just the fact that it seems to call to me from the shelf--"buy me! Buy Me! BUY ME!" And if I don't listen to that initial call, the sound just sort of burns in my brain and causes all sorts of trouble later on down the road, with impulse purchases...if I just buy one skein of SOMETHING to snuggle and feel, I can usually get away with returning it to the shelf and then RUN NOT WALK out of the store just as fast as I can without going through withdrawal.

And let me tell you. Withdrawal is a painful process. Any true knitter will tell you. The ones who deny it are, well...in denial or lying to you. Better check the freezer.

Why?

Because that is one of the places a yarnaholic will hide their newest purchases--oh, and watch for additions to your wine collection. Knitters are very often seen with wine--for those times when a project doesn't come together as it should--or for that first steek. Yes, I am aware.

And so, off to unload laundry and get back to the basement.

Wait..wait..hubby is out of bed and dressed, but is he prepared for the amount of work I plan to do in the next hour or so?

Um...Hubby?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Finally, the Weekend

No one knows better than I do, how much I look forward to weekends. It's my favorite time of the week. No deadlines. No pressure. I can knit all weekend--if I don't care about clean clothes, I can be good to go. I don't usually sleep in like most people do, but the mornings, I can whip into a whirlwind and get a bazillion things done. Then knit in the later part of the day, and hubby says:

"So what are you going to do today?"

And I say:

"Nothing"

And to myself I say:

"Else."

Of course he thinks that I've been knitting all morning, and thinks I'm being lazy--yet, he's the one who usually sleeps in until 2pm--accomplishes zip and then doesn't want to do anything else for the rest of the day because he's so "tired".

I should get up in the morning and work on the bedrooms downstairs, but the beginning is such a mule-job. It would go much faster if the hubby would help. He might. I'm not about to count him out yet.

I have quite a bit done on the piggie pillow top--picture in the morning when I can get some good lighting. I have to lay it out on the table to settle it in properly, because it tends to pucker a bit--but for the most part, it's laying down well.

After that, I have a scarf to knit, and I might just take that (or more socks) along with me to the hospital when I take my mother in. She's having outpatient surgery on Monday. I'm not concerned. I expect she'll be just fine.

And to top it all off, I got a nice email from my ex-husband, who still thinks of me during the holidays, and kindly sends me good wishes from his end of the world...the trouble is he's still on THIS world. He can get off anytime.

You may understand the last paragraph as partly tongue-in-cheek, partly fantasy and wishful thinking.

You decide!

In the meanwhile, I have a Knitting 101 class to teach at the local JoAnn's Fabrics at the Frandor Mall--teaching cast on, knit, purl and bind off techniques. Just enough to get somebody interested in going a little farther--I have two students this time, maybe more, and I'm looking forward to it.

Piggie Pillow Begun Anew...

I have re-started the piggie pillow. Is it just me or am I a sucker for punishment? I'm already having difficulty getting this thing to lie down and behave, and I knit to gauge (or darn close to it) without knitting a swatch most times, so this gives me pause to simply shake my head.

I have already had to decrease an extra row, and still have to decrease.

So it's taking some time, laying flat and stretching it as I go. Perhaps I'll have to switch to a pink wool--

Where in the world am I going to find a pink wool?

---

I got a good night's sleep last night, and feeling all perky and such. I can't wait to get to the office and get today over with--tonight is Silver Bells in the City, a festive evening with songs sung around the newly lit Governor's Holiday Tree (ahem! It's a Christmas Tree--don't start with me! I just woke up and I'm grumpy!), a parade/light show and fireworks (for Christmas?) over the Lugnut's Oldsmobile Ball Park.

It's a scene from Horton Hears a Who! And all the little Whoville Who's are singing around their Christmas tree and it makes the grinch's heart grow.

Oh, who am I kidding?

Anyway, it's a festive time of season, and heralds in the holidays (like we needed notification of some sort to remember) with a veritable BANG. Frankly, this year, I could skip the holiday part--not because I'm a grinch or something like that, but because I simply would prefer to stay home and have people come VISIT ME instead of me running about like a headless chicken on my vacation, trying to get everyone in--in equal parts so no one feels left out--and let's face it..gas don't grow on trees anymore.

And with the Saudi King having to pay for that $200 million dollar Air Bus that he wrecked into the retaining wall--well, let's just say that the retaining wall works...gas is expected to go up more this coming week so that he can pay for his staff that made the Wacko's in the News on our local radio station!

Sheesh.

I've no idea why my typing/writing has such an attitude this morning. Maybe I need a few more hours of sleep? It's hard to tell. I just know that I'm champing at the bit, mostly because tomorrow is Saturday, and the plan is to GET SOMETHING ACCOMPLISHED. And by that I mean, cleaning out my sewing/craft room, even though I now know that hubby's son isn't moving in until January. The coldest darn month of the year, and we're going to have a door open. Can't believe it. Again with the attitude...huh.

Maybe just a couple more minutes..

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Exhausted AGAIN?

Well, I suppose my fault for not taking Lunesta last night, but how in the world am I supposed to know if I'm going to wake up in the middle of the night and not get back to sleep.

I've been awake since about 1 am. I can't sleep. Husband is snoring. LOUDLY. It's nearly time for me to get up, and only now do I feel like going back to bed, closing my eyes and getting some real SHUT EYE.

So I wrote my boss. I told him that I wouldn't be in today, but I will likely go in later, after I've had the chance to sleep. For now, however, I have to wait fro the alarm, which will go off in a few moments, and then I will put the dog out and feed her. Then I will retire again.

I hate these wakeful nights.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

AND THE FINISHED PRODUCT!

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FOX FACES!

Dances With Foxes

Fox Faces, that is. I only have to kitchener and weave in the cast on ends, and I'll be ready to go!

Here's the pic before the kitchener...And sorry it's so fuzzy. I really must stop saving my pics so small!

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And I set up my RAVELRY STORE!!!

Oh dear! I am so excited about that! My very very first in my whole life pattern. And it's all mine!

Remember, my little "Toasty Warm Hat"!

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday Night Raw

Last night, I drove to my friend's house (Ray) to watch Monday Night Raw.

It was a less than optimal plan, since I knew that I would lose about 3 hours of necessary sleep--but I wanted to see The Hot Rod again so much that I threw caution to the wind.

I'm paying for it now, in the way of reduced productivity because I can't seem to think straight.

I am so tired that if you asked me how many toes I have, I'd likely have to actually count them to be certain--and I don't know if I can count that high successfully today. It's 40 right? Oh no--that's how many stitches are left on the needles right now for Fox Faces--as I'm decreasing off the toes.

So I expect that if I catch up on some sleep later this afternoon, I'll be able to finish them tonight.

THIS is a good thing, because while I love the color, and loved the knit, it's wearing me down a little. I'm ready for something different--I might have to pick up my fair isle sweater to work on something different.

It would be nice to finish that up too.

Christmas is coming. Santa is watching you! Look busy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

FIGHT NITE!

Tonight is a special night.

Tonight, I am driving to my friend's house (Ray) to watch FIGHT NITE! WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW!

Oh boy, oh boy! Can't contain the excitement over here, because my VERY MOST FAVORITE WRESTLER is on tonight---

You can't guess?

ROWDY RODDY PIPER.

Because he's a piper mostly, and a red-blooded All American Boy-Man (I guess he's a man. I think he's like over 60 or something like that!), who fought the lovely Adrian (a fat guy who liked to dress up and wear makeup and sparkly stuff--and wore outfits 17 sizes too small that basically showed EVERY UNSIGHTLY CURVE! YUK!).

So he's going to be on tonight. I doubt he'll be actually wrestling anybody, but he might get into a scuffle, as he's been known to do--this last year with Santino, who liked to dress up in drag as Santina--another un-lovely--it makes me wonder if the Hot Rod would have liked Milton Berle much? :)

In any case, Ray is loading up on chips and dip and drinks to help us stay awake, because it's going to be a late night. I probably shouldn't do it on a work night, but I miss Hot Rod so much, and Ray watches this stuff like I watch Medium. He knows what's going on with the players all the time, and follows the magazines so that he can keep me apprized when the Hot Rod will be televised. You see, the man is retired for the most part, and only occasionally makes cameo appearances. They seem to be more frequent of late, and so it's important for me to find out if this will be a regular thing--

You see, I gave up cable, and lost Monday Night Raw--but if the Hot Rod is making a comeback, I want to be able to watch, and so, rather than get cable, I figure to buy a Recorder for Ray and teach him how to use it, so that he can record the episodes with Hot Rod for my viewing later. I'd do it now, but the timing is off.

But I'm all a-tither. I'm going to get something to eat soon, and then I'll be off to the races. Wish me luck driving Miss Daisy back home after midnight with all the deer spooked and running around.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Working Hard at Hardly Working..

Life sometimes deals you a blow where you simply cannot get on track no matter how hard you try. Today, my husband decided he would rather clean out our freezer of many freezer-burned items to make room in our freezers (yes, I didn't typo--I have 2 freezers), since his son is coming to live with us in a month or so.

Ah, okay. So where *does* he plan to sleep? With us?

No, he's taking over my sewing room. My quilting room. My knitting, yarn, books and crochet room. My wool room. My weaving room.

My storage room.

As you might guess, this room is similar to the disaster zone at ground zero on 9-11. It's an organized clutter, and I know where EVERYTHING is. Right now. God knows if I will remember where it is tomorrow or the next day. You know...things tend to roam about in the dark when you aren't there to watch it closely. That's why I keep most of my CURRENT projects close by. God help me if this stuff should start to breed.

But if it must, let it be the cashmere?

In any case I have to move the stuff from a 15' x 9' room into a 10'x10' room.

Plus about 10' x 10' that exists outside both rooms...and I look at the room that I am supposed to put all this valuable "stuff" into, and the room itself is stuffed full of HIS "stuff"...that has to come out, so that I can CLEAN and put down a RUG and SWEEP, and then I can move all my VALUABLE wares into this (god help me) little room!

How did this happen?

So, it's going to be a job that I need HIS help with, because HE has to do all the mule work. Now that's not a reference to his attitude (in other words, I'm not calling him an A$$) about the whole affair, but simply a reference to "HEY. YOU ARE STRONGER THAN ME. I EXPECT YOU TO MOVE ALL THIS HEAVY STUFF OUT OF HERE SO THAT I CAN GET SOMETHING ACCOMPLISHED!"

Needless to say, NONE of it got done this weekend. HE isn't motivated to do it. Well, if I must admit, neither am I. I am not looking forward to moving all my valuable stuff from it's home to another room that doesn't afford it any space to expand and breath. God help us all if it does inhale--

I had planned to work on it this weekend. No such luck. And because my "rhythm" was KINKED, nothing else got done, either...like the vacuuming, the laundry, and I was going to wash my hand-crafted socks...well, I will be wearing store bought next week. All of the things I planned to do...hmm..what was that phrase? The best laid plans often go awry. Well, frankly, I'm going to chalk it up to "over scheduling". I am, after all, only one person. There is only two hands on this body and it can only do so much in a given day.

That's what I could do! I could take time off to work at home on all of this?

Sigh. That ain't happ'nin. Now that my husband is retired, staying home all day is no relaxing venture. Not that I'm complaining, you understand, but I enjoy little stretches of "silent time", when the house is completely quiet, and I can hear a pin drop on the carpet. The dog is asleep in her kennel. The cats have crawled under the blankets on the bed, and the television is off. My house literally RESTS now and then.

And today would have been a good day for my house to rest, FOR SURE. But sad to say, things were very hectic from the second my husband said

"Let's clean out the freezer."

Well, I can't just let that one go, now can I?

And so all the things that *I* planned to do today got put on the back burner.

Thankfully, the freezer job IS finished, and we can relax about that one for another, oh, five years or so. I found things in there that I'd forgotten completely about--a milk crate full of one pound packages of ground chuck--a sight that told me I wouldn't have to buy burger again probably for another year. OH! And there's that freezer jam we made two years ago. I wonder if it's any good?

Another treaure trove. The bad part was the food we had to toss out because it was freezer burned, and the smell was horrible. We started a package to thaw in the sink. The item that sat in his mother's freezer for years, and was now sitting in ours. We took it upstairs, completely uncertain of what it was, when hubby decides he wants rice and gravy for supper.

"Do we have a packet of gravy?" he asked.

"I don't believe we do, but what was that package thawing in the sink?" I reply.

"Idano." Was the answer.

"Well, open it up and see." So we did, and SURPRISE. It's gravy. Somehow I think the food gods are watching over us.

My Latest Hat!

Here's the best-est hat in the world!!!

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Pattern is only $2--and it will be on Ravelry as soon as I'm approved for designer-ship! That's RIGHT! I'll soon be a designer! Aren't you THRILLED? I know I am! I can't wait to put up my next pattern, but I have no idea what the next one will be. What would YOU like to see me create? What sort of pattern would YOU like to work on? Leave me a message in the comments!


And another completed dishcloth from Monthly Dishcloths-November 2009. I haven't been busy at all!



Now what did I do with that fair isle sweater?????

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Feeling Much Better

I am thinking that there was a buildup of Lunesta in my system. I didn't take any last night, slept pretty decently, and got up this morning with no issues (except a hot flash). I also loaded up with bottled water yesterday, and I'll do the same today, rather than drink too much Diet cola. Hubby is right again--I might have been dehydrated.

In the meanwhile, I finished half of another frou frou and started on the other half. This one is my favorite color (blue) and I really like it. This one might not go into my Christmas Gift Drawer, and be an accent to my own wardrobe--then again, perhaps not. It's very likely that I'll be able to get more of this stuff down the road after Christmas.

I had this crazy dream--working in close quarters with these two women who just didn't "get" me, but they were extremely rude anyway--talking about me and my family in the most derogatory terms with each other to the point where I had to complain to my boss, and when SHE didn't listen, I took to writing about them--in fact, I wrote a book where they were the two main characters, and they got in an accident with a semi truck and were both killed instantly.

Well, just saying...

But the dream started out with the semi accident, and ended up with me writing the book, so the "timeline" was all crazy. It was almost like one of Allison Dubois' dreams--because hubby noticed the other night that all her dreams happen in "the past"--she's never able to prevent someone getting killed. Like she says "It doesn't work like that." She gets "feelings" about things that have already happened. Well, quite honestly, so does the seasoned detective! The sleeping brain is a wonderful thing. It puts things together in "sleep state" that you might never have thought of or considered before. I have "psychic" dreams at night, too--especially those where you've misplaced something, and in your dream, you find it. The next morning, you go to that place, and Voila! There it is! Well, your BRAIN always knew when you put it there and why, and simply reminds you when you're in a relaxed state. When you're awake and stressed because you need it, the stress depresses the chemical that assists you in accessing that part of your brain that remembers things.

Do I believe in Allison Dubois? Do I think she might have a "gift"? Well, if she doesn't, she's getting very sick and delusional! Not a good combination in my book. However, I think it would be interesting to meet her and swap stories.

Well, it's getting to be time to take off for the office. I hope that I can keep myself busy today.